Pros and Cons: Partaking in the "Trash the Dress" Trend

The perks and drawbacks of subjecting your bridal gown to post-nuptial destruction.

There’s a new post-nuptial phenomenon sweeping the wedding world today: “trash the dress” photo shoots. This trend involves the bride donning her gown sometime after her big day, perhaps for the last time, and traveling to a predetermined destination – the most popular location being the beach – to get shots of her essentially ruining her dress.

It sounds dreadful, but the pictures end up looking dynamic, intriguing, and unique. They show the newlywed(s) in a more relaxed atmosphere; posing as if to say, “the stress is over!” The new fad is garnering attention – both positive and negative. We put together a list to display both sides of the argument: 

Pros

-  Unique pictures. It’s difficult to be completely innovative when it comes to taking wedding photos – this may be one of the last ways to get creative. You and your spouse will have an off-the-wall set of pictures to add to your album, and they are sure to be conversation starters when dinner guests spot the framed photos of a gown-clad bride high up in a pine tree. You’ll look like you belong on the cover of a high-fashion magazine! 

-  Closing one chapter and opening another with your spouse. What better way to cap off your celebration than having one last romantic frolic – clad in your finest – with your beloved? Some couples find it more symbolic than hopping into their getaway car and riding off into the sunset. Trashing the dress can feel more realistic, as it represents the not-so-beautiful side of marriage. Some find the experience absolutely cathartic.

-  An excuse to spend time seaside/in a forest/laying in a meadow. If nothing else, this affords you the opportunity to spend a few hours in a picturesque location of your choice – what a lovely way to spend some time as a newlywed! Many brides choose to submerge themselves into the nearest ocean, lake, or even pool for amazing underwater snapshots. After you’ve finished, why not recline on the sand with your sweetheart and catch up on some R&R? Turn the session into a newlyweds' day-trip!

Cons

-  Ruining the dress. If you choose a more destructive option – treading through the mud, setting your gown ablaze, etc. – the damage will be permanent. This may seem inconsequential to you at present, but imagine some time from now, your daughter wants to wear your dress – or use its fabric for her own – and you cannot provide it for her. On a lesser scale, there may come a time that you’re feeling nostalgic and want to put the gown on again, or simply gaze at it for awhile – you’ll be disappointed when you remember you had to throw it away.

-  Prolonging those post-vow blues. If you’re unlike the bride that finds a sense of closure through this trend, you may discover yourself suffering from post-nuptial gloominess. For some newlyweds, a photo shoot like this might be a not-so-friendly reminder that the event you’ve poured your heart, soul, and coordination prowess into has ended. Similar to the point above, there’s a chance you might not realize your strong feelings about your day being officially over, only to feel them surface as your photographer is snapping those final photos. It should be a happy period of time, not one fraught with mourning – you should always make your mental health a priority!

-  Fitting it in. You’re busy. Your new spouse is busy. Your favorite photographer is probably busy. It could be hard to get a date on the books – especially working around your honeymoon and your photographer’s future weddings and events – and you may be squeezing it in between other appointments. The purpose of these pictures is to showcase the cessation of the bridal process and signify the beginning of your marriage in a fun, carefree way – not an easy feat when you both have a to-do list that’s three miles long.

It should be noted that there are ways to participate in trashing the dress without destroying it – the exact level of “trashing” your gown reaches is up to you. If you’d like to keep it fully intact, we recommend running through a field or the woods: while you'll likely get some twigs and leaves stuck around the hemline, it is much less permanent.

Opening photo courtesy of BHLDN

Authored by: Megan Simpson